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Passion drives better Experiences!

I recently attended BFM Enterprise Rocks 2018, Kuala Lumpur. What caught my attention was the personal journeys of some of the speakers; Joel Neoh (Groupon & Fave) Hui Mathews (Ash be Nimble) Wai Hong Fong (Storehub). They all shared one common reason for success; the ability to stitch experiences (and expertise) to build either a successful business, or in the case of Hui Mathews re-entry to the corporate world.

How did these exceptional people design their experiences? Well the short answer is they didn’t. They pursued an interest or resolved to solve a problem and, in that pursuit, developed the skills, or what I call self-efficacy. Businesses may fail, and that’s the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, but the Founders can go on to do amazing things by building on their experiences. Look under any success story and you will see a prior experience, that was critical for success.

Microsoft made a ton of money by licensing (on a PC basis) and not selling outright MS-DOS to IBM. Was it a stroke of genius? Perhaps, but it wasn’t the first time Bill Gates put a deal like this together. Gates (and Paul Allen) licensed the first version of BASIC to MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) the maker of the Altair machines. This deal later became the subject of a legal dispute as it required MITS to buy a minimum number of licenses in order to acquire the intellectual property. That was in 1975 and resulting in the founding of Microsoft. The IBM deal was done five years later, in 1980, when Steve Balmer joined, brought in by Gates to assist with the negotiations. Let me give you another example.

In 2005, two years before the San Francisco event where three guests each paid US$80 to stay, Joe Gebbia offered for free the air-mattress in his apartment, for free to a stranger who came to his garage sale. With Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk, they also worked on a roommate-matching service, but it had already been done.

Few of us are born with natural abilities. Hence, we work hard to develop our competencies in order to get ahead. Many millennials have a natural advantage when it comes to skill development – their passion. They are not doing it to get ahead in their careers. This means they are more committed and not blinkered by thinking “Ok, so what can I do to get ahead.” This coupled with the internet allows experiences to be gained much quicker than with a traditional offline business. I started as a Naval Architect, working in shipyards and I moved out of the UK because we were working on designs that would take years to get to production.

I hope your passion will result in deep experiences that develop self-efficacy.

If they do, you will be hard to beat!

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